Giant is regarded by many as the world’s biggest bike manufacturer. Born in 1972 in Taiwan, Giant began by producing lightweight chromoly frames for other bike brands. The first Giant-branded bikes hit the market in 1981, first in Taiwan, then Europe, North America and other countries around the world, and the company was soon pioneering advancements in both aluminium and composite engineering.
Among the innovations introduced by Giant has been the world’s first carbon fibre road bike for the masses, the Cadex 980 C, which was introduced in 1987. The innovative Maestro Suspension Technology system, which featured four pivot points to neutralize pedaling and braking forces, was introduced in 2004.
Giant have been involved with professional cycling teams from as far back as 1995, when it sponsored its first World Cup mountain bike team, featuring legendary American racer John Tomac and Norwegian cross-country star Rune Hoydahl. In 1997, Giant’s Compact Road frame, with its dramatically sloping top tube and compact rear triangle, was ridden by the ONCE ProTour road team, with ONCE rider Joseba Beloki riding the Giant TCR to two Tour de France podium finishes.
In 2009, Giant partnered with the Rabobank ProTour team, and star rider Denis Menchov was soon winning the Giro d’Italia on the Giant TCR Advanced SL. The company currently provides bikes to Rabobank’s successor Belkin Pro, a team which features riders of the calibre of Lars Boom and Mark Renshaw – stand out results include victories in the Paris–Tours and Milan–San Remo races of 2010.